[b-hebrew] Kadeshah & Zonah in Genesis 32 + More

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Jul 15 21:36:16 EDT 2004

Dear George,

>Personally, it makes no difference to me whether the report is
>historically accurate or not.  I think there is too little to support a
>claim that it was, but that is beside the point.  So long as one is
>solely interested in attempting to explain why they consider it to be
>historical or whether the words are accurately reported, one is not
>concentrating on the purpose for which it was written.  Why are these
>stories written as they are?  Was there some importance to the story of
>Judah and Tamar?  If so, what?  These are what should be sought.
>Otherwise we are majoring in minors.

HH: One thing the story in Genesis 38 shows is the tendency of Judah 
to mix with the Canaanites and adopt Canaanite practices. This may 
have been one reason why God led the Israelites into Egypt. The 
Canaanites were to mature in their wickedness during the Israelite 
years in Egypt (v. 16 below):

Gen. 15:13 Then the LORD said to him,  "Know for certain that your 
descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they 
will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.
Gen. 15:14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and 
afterward they will come out with great possessions.
Gen. 15:15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be 
buried at a good old age.
Gen. 15:16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back 
here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full 

When Israel came out of Egypt, the Canaanite evil would have matured 
to the point of divine judgment. The story of Judah suggests that 
Israel might have been sucked into that evil had they stayed in the 
land. Judah's friend Hirah was an Adullamite. Adullam was a Canaanite 
royal city, so Hirah was evidently a Canaanite. Then Judah married a 
Canaanite woman (Gen 38:2), something Abraham and Isaac would have 
blanched at. Judah next sought Tamar, thinking she was a prostitute. 
She was sitting at the entrance to Enaim, so he probably thought she 
was a Canaanite prostitute.

By the way, I liked the idea that someone presented about the veil 
being used in unusual situations. The person compared it to Rebekah 
putting on a veil when she approached Isaac. It seems plausible that 
a veil might mark out a woman as a prostitute, if women did not 
ordinarily wear them and it was not a marital situation. Anyway, 
Judah met her on his way to see Hirah, who lived in Timnah. Enaim was 
on the road to Timnah, so Judah met her before he saw Hirah.

Therefore, when he sent Hirah to get his pledge back from the woman, 
he must have identified her to Hirah as a shrine prostitute (QD&H), 
because that is the information Hirah used to seek for her. Remember, 
he had to depend on the information given by Judah, since Hirah was 
not there when the incident occurred. So we see Judah getting sucked 
into the depravity of Canaan.

					Harold Holmyard

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